PURPOSE: This research study aims to review the effectiveness of UAE’s National Youth Agenda on optimal youth self-regulation and development. It assesses the priority areas of an objective in the National Youth Agenda of the United Arab Emirates on youth self-regulation and development, analyzes progress made to achieve the priority areas, highlight main gaps, and suggest areas of improvements.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The study utilizes critical review and action research approaches to analyze trends in self-regulation for youth development in UAE and proposes initiatives to further the implementation of the UAE national youth agenda.
FINDINGS: National agendas and initiatives have a significant role in the positive development of youth. Through assessing the priorities of objective 4 of the UAE National Agenda, it was revealed that the diversity, magnitude, and dispersion of such initiatives can make it difficult to know when development occurs and what guided it. A high level of integration and a comprehensive approach across all sectors and throughout all related national initiatives is crucial to achieve better youth self-regulation interventions utilizing theoretical guidelines and informed strategies that can consequently lead to positive youth development. The study also revealed that a stronger emphasis on emotional regulation such as managing stress, strong emotions, and anger, and fostering empathy, compassion, and resilience to ensure wellbeing and a good quality of life of all categories of youth is necessary. Lastly, the role of interventions at various levels based on the circumstances and requirements of youth was reemphasized to target the development of all types of youth across the nation.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This study provides a previously unexplored alignment between national youth development agendas and initiatives and the self-regulation and youth development theories in the context of UAE. It signifies several critical factors that influence the success of agendas and initiatives in achieving a positive youth development outcome.
Keywords: Self-regulation, youth development, optimization, national initiatives.